Due to the ubiquity of social media, Yulin ‘festival’ gained massive attention and set #BanYulin trending. Netizens were lodging online petitions to stop this barbaric practice in China. But little did the people know that Facebook has been banned in China ever since the Ürümqi riots of 2009. In spite of the colossal criticism that Yulin received, China went on to butcher nearly 20,000 dogs and cats to “celebrate” this so-called festival this year too.
It’s shameful that in this liberal world, where organisations such as PETA, MFA, SAFE, etc. are trying to speak for the voiceless, countries which label themselves as developed/developing do not view animals as a part of the society, thus acting all reckless about them. China is not alone. Numerous countries perform many heinous acts against the animals and tag it as a festival. It is not a festival that should be celebrated. It is nothing to be happy or proud about.
Let’s start off with a brief introduction about Yulin and proceed with the rest.
- Yulin Festival, China: Originally called The Lychee and Dog Meat Festival, it is celebrated in Yulin, China which sees the slaughtering of thousands and thousands of dogs and cats. It received attention and criticism due the way the animals are treated before and during killing.
The butchers randomly pick the stray dogs and even steal pets from houses. They are then caged and starved. Further, they are beaten terribly, boiled and skinned alive or the butcher simply slits their throats.
2. Bullfighting, Spain: Prior to the official bullfighting, the bulls are confined and starved horrendously. Papers are stuffed into their ears, cotton is stuffed into the nostrils, Vaseline is smeared in the eyes, needles are penetrated in the genitals. That is the only reason the bulls appear to be so aggressive in the ring. In the ring, the bullfighter (known as the matador) provokes the bull and keeps on assaulting it. In the end, the bull us killed with swords and daggers for the audience to see.
3. Gadhimai Festival, Nepal: This sacrificial ceremony is conducted in order to please Gadhimai, the goddess of power. It is celebrated once in every five years and is the biggest slaughtering festival as more than 300,000 animals are killed including buffaloes, pigeons, goats, chickens and pigs. It is celebrated by Madeshi and Bihari people. After the festival gets over, the bones of these animals are smuggled.
4. Toro Embolado, Spain: Toro Embolado is a festival where the horns of the bulls are set on fire. The bull is then released in the streets where it runs with rage since it is terribly hurt. The spectators try to dodge the bull and entertain themselves till the fire goes out. Thousands of bulls die every year due to this cruel practice.
5. Whaling, Faroe Islands: Pilot whales are spotted by the hunters in the boats and are dragged to the shore, where they are mercilessly slaughtered. The sea turns red to due to the spilling of the blood. The locals then come down to the sea to watch the whales being killed. This hunt is known as Grindadráp. It is conducted every year in the summer and is practised by various communities.
6. Rapa das Bestas, Spain: Rapa das Bestas literally means “shearing of the beasts”. It is a 400 year old prolonged tradition which requires horses being brought from the forests and wrestled to the ground forcibly. Each horse is taken down by a bunch of people and when they put the horse down, its mane and tail is clipped by the people. Later on, these horses are branded with hot rods. This terrifies the horses even more and leaves them in deep pain and agony. Lastly, they are released and sent back to the forests.
7. Shark Finning: Shark finning refers to the chopping of the fins of the sharks for seafood or smuggling them as trophy species. The fins are removed from the sharks and as they lack the mechanism to swim, they drown or are eaten by the predators. This illegitimate industry is worth millions and millions of dollars. Yemen has the biggest industry of shark finning.
8. Fox Penning and Bear Baiting: Fox Penning is a blood sport. It involves starving wild dogs competing against each other to rip apart foxes and coyotes in an enclosed area. Since, this activity takes place within a fenced area, there is no possibility of running away from the dogs.
In Bear Baiting, the bear is chained and tied to a pole which makes it impossible to run away. The bear gets its claws and teeth removed, therefore, it cannot protect itself in any way. The dogs are then unleashed at the poor creature which is sure of its inevitable death. USA and Pakistan are the only countries to practice this cruel activity.
9. Phajaan: It is a method to tame the elephants. Phajaan translates “to crush the spirit of the elephant”. A young elephant is brought from the forests and put in a cage called the “training crush” where it is chained, sleep-deprived, starved, jabbed with spikes, hot rods, nails and beaten with hammers and whips.
All the body parts of an elephant are tied with ropes as well and it gets hit on each part. The elephant is tortured until he himself believes that the captors will harm him again so it never retaliates. Due to this activity, the spirit of the elephant literally gets crushed. It is practiced the most in Thailand.
10. Pig Slaughter: Pigs and their piglets are beaten to death with iron rods or simply by swinging them round by grabbing their legs and smacking them against the wall until they die. They are punched and stabbed with knives. They are also hurled around the farm by their frangible limbs.
These activities are done in broad daylight and no one is bothered by them. Rather, everyone becomes a part of them enthusiastically. We can measure how far the human race has come by the way it treats its fellow beings, and the results clear depict how awfully we have failed.
Such brutality which is practiced against the animals goes unheard and unpunished because they cannot speak for themselves! Had it been a human in any of the cases who’d have suffered this way, it’d have caught eyeballs, sympathy, and unmeasurable attention. Sometimes, don’t you just wish that the Earth self-destructs? Be compassionate, people!